Marketing

Cole Hernandez | Brand Marketing

Company: Pink Graffiti

Title: Founder and Chief Storyteller

Industry: Brand Marketing

Function: Create messaging and experiences that communicate a brand’s values and deeply connect with their ideal customer

Education:  

BA-Psychology, minor in English, University of North Texas

MJ-Integrated Marketing, University of North Texas

Survey:

What is your daily schedule like?

I wake up and meditate for 10 minutes and journal for about 20 minutes to clear my head. Then, I’ll read for a while and workout for about an hour. I adhere to the Morning Miracle philosophy; it lets me dedicate my morning to personal development and my own well-being. The rest of the day varies. When you’re a solopreneur, you have an opportunity to create the world you want to live in. Some days, I’ll attend events and engage with my community, and other days, I sit in my pj’s and plug away on my computer.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I get to create my world. I’m building a business where I have control over what I work on, what I create, and how I contribute to our culture.

What were the steps you took to get your job?

I really wanted to create an agency that supported a philosophy I believed in. I formed the LLC and went to work finding clients.

What is your best piece of advice for girls interested in this field?

Start reading as much as possible in psychology and sociology. Study journalism and copywriting. Understanding human behavior is essential because at the end of the day, you want to connect to the values that matter to the humans that need or require a specific service or product.

What inspired you to pursue this career?

There was no other way! I always knew that I would be an entrepreneur. As a kid, I used to make awful jewelry. I knocked on people’s doors and sold my goods. I have always loved the feeling of creating and selling.

Career Snapshot

Nicole is the founder of Pink Graffiti, a brand storytelling agency that works with boutique hospitality brands and female-founded startups. As chief storyteller, she helps create an online presence that reflects the client’s voice, focusing on social media management, experiential marketing, content creation, and all facets of digital life. But before she founded her own agency, she set out on a career journey that taught her about what kind of entrepreneur she wanted to be. Eye Masters provided her first opportunity to work one-on-one with clients when Nicole was a graduate student. It was in this job that she learned the value of building a connection with customers. By listening to their concerns and creating a positive experience in the store, the sales naturally flowed in.

After graduating, Nicole chose to work in public relations, in both small agencies and large, in Texas and eventually in New York. These distinctive environments gave her a lot of perspective about what was possible in the world of marketing. She helped bring Texas Longhorn cattle to Times Square for a pop-up event. Nicole also helped to tout the city of Cincinnati’s revitalized downtown as a modern, exciting place to visit. Each agency met the client’s needs with different approaches and philosophies.

However, not every experience along the journey was empowering. Nicole has experienced professional bullying and even witnessed some ethically questionable behavior. However, she has taken those negative experiences and started a sacred rebellion against uncivilized corporate environments. This led her to form Pink Graffiti as a business that not only values commerce but also connection and conscious creation.

The Hustle

As entrepreneurs, it is easy to get caught up in the “always hustle” mindset, thinking that you must engage with and think about work all day, every day. Nicole makes time to travel and engage in activities that are just for her, not connected to Pink Graffiti. This personal time allows her to clear her mind and to recharge her creativity. By supporting her well-being, she is ensuring that she will have innovative ideas to bring to her clients. It is important to find a balance that works for you.

Advice

According to Nicole, anyone interested in marketing or public relations should really get to know the business. In addition to reading everything you can get your hands on, you should actively try to engage in the field, put your hands on different aspects of the industry. If you can, go find internships in different parts of the industry because that will really help you get a clear perspective of what area you want to specialize in. If you can figure that out early, you’ll have an advantage over other people because others will begin to recognize you as a specialist. When you’re interning and even when you’re working, be on the lookout for mentors. Someone with experience will be able to give you insight and guidance, help you figure out how to really make a difference through your work.

“I get to create my world. I’m building a business where I have control over what I work on, what I create, and how I contribute to our culture.”

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